Costa Rica Mountains

Costa Rica Mountains

There is so much more to Costa Rica than the beach and forest areas.  There is actually a whole range of mountains.  Most are part of the volcanic chain here in Costa Rica.  YES there are some active volcano’s.

Costa Rica Retreat @ Ser La Luz actually is at the base of the worlds second (2nd) largest active crater, the Poas Volcano.  It is amazing.  Luckily it does not spew out lava like some other volcanos do.  We do see the steam clouds from it’s water filled crater.  As water seeps down to the lava chamber below it creates pressure and geysers can happen.  Which if you happen to be there at the right time can be amazing.  We have yet to see one from our home.

Having so many different mountains and volcanos here in Costa Rica gives you so many different climate zones.  The beach area is typically like being in hot, humid Florida year round.  You definitely need your a/c.  You also need protective clothing because along with heat and humidity you have the dreaded mosquito.  Do not get me wrong, beaches are amazing.  Yet so many places focus only on those areas.

We are located at 4,700 ft elevation and the weather YEAR ROUND is amazing.  Low to mid 80’s during the daytime and low to mid 60’s at night.  We literally have no need for heat or air conditioning.  Though some nights do feel chilly, especially after it has rained most off the afternoon.

There are two (2) seasons here in Costa Rica.  Winter and Summer.  You would think we are in the Southern Hemisphere with the way the seasons are.  What is typically called Summer in the northern hemisphere is actually winter in costa rica.  It is the cooler part of the year and it happens to also be the wet season.  September and October are the wettest months out of the year and there can be days where it rains non-stop.  But that’s the joy of living here.

The summers here can be very hot.  But being up at our elevation it is not bad at all.  It is the dry season and we can go months without any rain at all.  Yet so much stays green for a long time.  One would think that with no rain for so long that most of the trees would lose their leaves.  Yet not many do.

After living in the Tampa Bay Florida area for over 26 years, Michael finds this a relief.  Ed and Michael decided they did not want the beach weather 365 days out of the year.  Just too hot.  We like it on the more mild side.  The central valley which consists of San Jose was still a bit too warm for us.  We ended up in the Grecia area and up to the mountains.  There is actually an amazing Ex-Pat community here and this is where you still can find the typical Costa Rican culture.  People are very friendly here and if they like you they will go out of their way to help.  Be cautious though, because just like most other places, people can take advantage of your kindness.

So if you want to explore what Costa Rica is truly about, check us out and we can give you a tour of real Costa Rica Culture.  PLUS you get some amazing views of the valley areas below.



Mountains & Places Near Me - Poas Volcano

Crater at Poas Volcano – Places Near Me (Ser La Luz)


Subscribers — Testing Help

I’m sorry for the posts taking place today in testing out the system. I’m glad it’s working.

BUT — I see from some “comments” that some of you are receiving the posts who, if my memory serves me correctly, you have unsubscribed from receiving updates.

All comments need authorization first

SO – if you have unsubscribed from receiving updates AND you are still getting them if you can please put in the comment section your e-mail address

I will be able to look in the database and try to see why you are getting the updates. I am sorry if you unsubscribed and yet are still getting them.

The post Subscribers — Testing Help appeared first on Costa Rica Retreat @ Ser La Luz.

Anniversary update Ser La Luz


WOW – it is so hard to believe that it has been our 1 year anniversary already since we purchased the property that we now call Ser La Luz.

As we look at pictures from our first trips here it’s hard to believe all that we have accomplished in a single year.  Finally, the place has transformed into the beauty that we saw the first day.  We are making friends here and just yesterday we had our first open house.

About 15 Gringo’s (Ex-Pats) arrived at Ser La Luz to check out what we have been up to and to get information about Yoga classes, retreats and of course renting out the rooms for visiting family and friends.  It was about time for us to start to socialize with other people in the Grecia area.  Therefore we have received some amazing feedback and next week we will start holding our first classes.

In September we have our first Yoga Retreat with Michael’s Yoga Loft family.  Dasha will be the visiting instructor and Kela will be here to prepare some amazing raw foods.  We are sure they will be amazed at the changes we have made.

A wonderful anniversary celebration.

We are slowly learning Spanish and Ed is doing much better than Michael at it.  Most noteworthy, Michael drives like a local.  Fasten your seat belts and hold on. It is an amazing adventure that we are thankful everyday for.  And next door we have an amazing Tico (Costa Rican) family who owns a dairy farm in the valley below.  Therefore, we get fresh milk that is amazing and very affordable.  Most of all, you can see the cows grazing in the valley below.

We are adding more edible landscaping to the property.  Our little orchard area is producing more delicious organic fruits again.  Our vegetable gardens are finally coming along and our herbal area is amazing.

As you can see from all the amazing pictures we have been posting, we are officially ready for you to come and visit.  Whether it be for a retreat or just a vacation getaway, we are ready.  Next year we will have to plan an anniversary retreat!

In conclusion, since you made it this far in the post….. please LIKE & SHARE it to your friends.

The post Anniversary update Ser La Luz appeared first on Costa Rica Retreat @ Ser La Luz.

Transportation – Ser La Luz


Transportation to Ser La Luz

From the Juan Sanataria Airport, San Jose, a taxi ride is approximately $50 US.  We do have access to a driver who will personally pick up and deliver 1-3 people from the airport for $30 with prior arrangements.

Taxi’s are easy to come by in the town of Grecia and will pick you up from Ser La Luz with a phone call.  Rates are very reasonable, with the fare from Ser La Luz to Grecia about $10 US.  Government sanctioned taxi’s are highly advisable.  Easily identifiable by their bright red colors and yellow triangles.

Transportation Assistance

We have a private driver available to help you get around.  Most noteworthy an all day trip to La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano area from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. could cost about $200.  It is the same fee whether it is 1 to 3 people.  We can arrange personal excursions no matter the size of your party.

Located about 300 meters east of Ser La Luz is a public bus stop which will take you directly into central Grecia.  From there you can catch buses around to neighboring towns or to San Jose where you can catch a bus to other parts of Costa Rica.

Transportation Advice

You can rent an automobile while on vacation.  Not recommended for many reasons.  Because your automobile insurance from home not useable here. Furthermore you absolutely need FULL Coverage.  Hence Costa Rica’s traffic and drivers habits can be a bit frightening.  Their tradition of “landmark address system” takes some getting use to.  There are no street signs OR address numbers once you leave San Jose.   Driving after dark is not recommended.  Due to pot holes and the ability of GETTING LOST.

Transportation Issues

GPS does work — SOMETIMES — GPS signal can be lost when driving around in the mountains and the maps can be a bit confusing.  It may tell you to take a specific road only to be lead on a dead end, barely passable road.

Located about 300 meters from Ser La Luz is a bus stop.  The bus will take you directly into Central Grecia.  Running at least every hour with the last bus to come back this way at 10 p.m.  Furthermore, the last bus to San Jose is 8 p.m.

In conclusion, we will update this page with very useful information as we find it. Because we want to help make your stay here with us a very enjoyable one.

reliable transportation in Costa Rica - Red Cab company

Red Cab company

Finally, getting around is not that bad in Costa Rica.  It just takes some getting use to.

The post Transportation – Ser La Luz appeared first on Costa Rica Retreat @ Ser La Luz.

Black Bean Brownies NO FLOUR

Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies – they are so good you no one will believe they are made out of Black Beans.

I improvised a recipe to add Hemp Protein.  Many variations of the recipe called for quick oats — not crazy about trying to find non GMO quick oats.  I also added coconut flour which I made myself.  So much better with fresh ingredients.

Serve these warm or put in the fridge for the next day.  You can add caramel or coconut to them too.

Hope you enjoy!

Black Bean Brownie
No Flour Black Bean Brownies

Servings Prep Time
9-12brownies 5 minutes
Cook Time

Servings Prep Time
9-12brownies 5 minutes
Cook Time


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

    Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor and blend until completely smooth. REALLY BLEND WELL

    Stir in the chips — or take chocolate chunk and grate
    Then pour into a greased 8×8 pan.

    OPTIONAL: sprinkle more chocolate on top

    Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes (hard to do they smell so good)

The post Black Bean Brownies NO FLOUR appeared first on Costa Rica Retreat @ Ser La Luz.

Organic Giardiniera – Probiotic

Organic Giardiniera – Probiotic

“Another Fermented Food Full of Probiotic Bacteria”
In Italy, Mexico, Germany, and Korea and many other great places around the world fermented foods are popular, and sauerkraut and kimchi are favorites world wide. But here is another fermented food that’s very easy to make and will do the body good — it’s called Giardiniera.
Everyone should have about 4 or 5 pounds of good probiotic bacteria in their gut but most people only have 1/2 pound or less. This means they are lacking in good probiotic bacteria and probably have an overgrowth of bad bacteria. Probiotics are important for a robust and powerful immune system, for good mood, and great health in general and for keeping away disease.
Probiotic capsules work fine but they are expensive and making your own probiotic pickles is really inexpensive— Thus we save money and saving money is always good.
Giardiniera is a pickled veggie recipe which has been made for centuries. Eating 1 cup a week of giardiniera will rehab a person’s bacteria.

Organic Giardiniera


The post Organic Giardiniera – Probiotic appeared first on Costa Rica Retreat @ Ser La Luz.

Our Yoga Videos Ser La Luz


Yoga Videos

Check out our Yoga Videos as well as video updates.  We will also have video’s about nutritional eating, things to do and so much more.  So sign up for updates either on the website OR subscribe to our YouTube channel!  What do you have to lose?  You have so much more to gain.  Knowledge and information is an amazing thing to have and to share.

We are more than a retreat, we are your next vacation destination.  Get your passport ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

Retaining Wall Update – Costa Rica Retreat

Costa Rica Retreat @ Ser La Luz — Improvements!

Retreat Update!

Our lower retaining wall is starting to take shape, finally. Due to a broken drainage pipe part of the lower area started to collapse from rain runoff and was in need of a retaining wall.  So after a few months of finding people to do the work and getting bids we settled on a neighbor down the street Mr. Armando.  Most noteworthy, he is a wonderful older man.  He was referred to us by another neighbor Henry, who speaks great english and helps us with some translation issues.

Costa Rica Retreat is now ready to host your event!

Here in Costa Rica you submit paperwork for permits and it then goes to an Architectural institute for approval.  We had to hire an architect to approve of things.  He is amazing.  When you apply for permits here in Costa Rica it can take up to a month, at the latest.  See if they do not issue the permit by then, legally they have to approve your work and give you the permits.

While waiting for the paperwork to go through, they decided since rainy season was quickly approaching to get started with the work.  So a trench was dug for the footing of the wall and it had to be dug out a few meters in for the wall to be away from the road.  OH OH — problem — the earth was not stable.  There is a pocket of “loose sand” and it started to fall which lead to a collapse of the earth.  That’s not so bad after all.  With this issue they were given an “emergency” order to get the work started even before the permit was issued.

What a long process.  First rebar was bent to form a box of sorts for the footing to go into, then concrete was poured for it.  Now they are raising the wall.  Four – five guys are putting up the wall.  Talk about dedication our here in Costa Rica.  They are on the site working at 6 a.m. and do not finish until at least 4 p.m. sometimes 6 p.m. they were still working.  Mr Armando actually walks a few times during the night to keep an eye on things to make sure none of the materials are being stolen.  They do this 6 days a week.  They are getting paid by the job, not by the hour either.  At least on our part.

Check out the pictures of the process.  Costa Rica Retreat will actually gain a few feet of ground when it’s all done.  We might put a sitting area down there next to the orchard.

Retreat retaining wall

ready for our retaining wall


foundation frame going in


the wall is going up

IMG_5161 IMG_5480 (1)

We reached the top — now to fill in with gravel and dirt and put up the metal fencing


Before and After Main Wall Renovations

Before and After Main Wall Renovations – Ser La Luz — Costa Rica

Welcome to Ser La Luz in Costa Rica

Ser La Luz = Be The Light in Spanish

WOW – it is so hard to believe that we have been living here at Ser La Luz now for 4 months.  We have come a long way and managed to accomplish so much, yet it seems like we have such a long way to go.  Ser La Luz has come a long way in a short time.  Before and After Main Wall was exciting every step of the way.  We even had custom lights built into the fence.  Talk about festive during Christmas – we put in those changing color LED lights.

Many projects were planned, many started and a lot has gotten accomplished.  We have so many new visitors to the website AND to our Facebook page that it was time to post a Before and After post.  So here goes and enjoy the ride……  I’ll post according to what has been done, this way it doesn’t turn out to be a very long post and you get bored along the way.  We want you to have the full effect  lol

Costa Rica Retreat Ser La Luz's front wall before we purchased the property.

Costa Rica Retreat Ser La Luz’s front wall before we purchased the property.

Main Gate view before construction

Main Gate view before construction


Our main gate before renovations, the pedestrian door didn't even work

Our main gate before renovations, the pedestrian door didn’t even work – it was rusted shut


Main Wall before remodeling

Main Wall before remodeling

Artisan from Sarchi makes our front wall taller

Artisan from Sarchi makes our front wall taller

Remodeling of our main wall is under way.

Remodeling of our main wall is under way.

Remodeling of the Front Wall

Remodeling of the Front Wall

Costa Rica Retreat Ser La Luz's main wall gets a face lift

Costa Rica Retreat Ser La Luz’s main wall gets a face lift

Metal the Artisan from Sarchi is using to help remodel Costa Rica Retreat

Metal the Artisan from Sarchi is using to help remodel Costa Rica Retreat

The pedestrian door works and the iron has been repainted

The pedestrian door works and the iron has been repainted

Here the lower portion of the fence is being closed in

Here the lower portion of the fence is being closed in

Streetside view of the fence - that's Ed checking it out

Street side view of the fence – that’s Ed checking it out

Gate is all closed up and the door works :)

Gate is all closed up and the door works 🙂

Here's our view from inside the property looking at the gate

Here’s our view from inside the property looking at the gate

another wall view - we actually have lights installed

another wall view – we actually have lights installed

here is the night view of the front wall

here is the night view of the front wall

This is just part of the renovations that we have completed in less than 1 year.  A lot of work to do in order to make this a truly magical place for you to visit when you come to Costa Rica.

Suites Now Complete

OK — finally after 4 months of renovations, our Suites are now complete.

Our Suites

Master Suite

Our Master Suite can currently sleep 2 people, with plans to be able to sleep 2 additional people.  We’ve been calling it our “Honeymoon Suite” because it has amazing views not only from the front door and windows, but also from the windows on one side of the room.  Plenty of privacy for that room with custom made black out curtains so you can sleep in late in the morning.  It also gives you more privacy since you can not be seen from outside the room.  In our travels most hotel rooms do not have black out curtains so your silhouette is seen from the other side of the window.  We wanted something different.  This room also has a small wicker dining area and a small refrigerator so you can keep perishables nice and cold.

We even have a second room complete that we are calling the Bunk Room, this room can easily sleep 6 people at the moment. This room comes complete with a one of a kind, custom built Queen size bunk bed. Yes the upper and lower beds are Queen Sized!!!

Though not as private as the “Honeymoon Suite” it also offers custom made black out curtains so everyone can sleep in a little later in the morning, plus the privacy of not being seen from the other side of the windows.

Both rooms come complete with a full bath with a big walk in shower. The honeymoon suite and the bunk room open up to our lower court yard where you will see our chickens free ranging in the yard.  The lower courtyard also contains one of our amazing gardens as well as our ever so popular “fire pit” where we have nightly fires going.


Our 2 Suites

View of the terrace outside the 2 suites

Bunk Room

Bunk Room with custom built “Queen Size” bunk bed

Private Bath

One of the private full baths – each suite has it’s own full bath with vaulted ceilings and window for natural lighting

Custom Made Black Out Curtains

Both suites feature these custom built black out drapes.  Sleep in a little late in the morning without the sun shining directly into your suite.  We had these custom made for your comfort.  Plus in the evening, no one will will be able to see into your room.  Nothing worse than thin drapes in a hotel room or Suite.